FDA Approves Palforzia to Treat Peanut Allergies
Drug designed to be taken over time by young people with allergies
Peanut allergies have long been cause for concern for those living with them. In their most severe form, these allergies can be life-threatening — and can create a sense of danger around any food that may have come into contact with peanuts. Recently, a new drug called Palforzia has shown promise in making allergic reactions to peanuts less severe.
A 2019 article in The New York Times noted that Palforzia works “to reduce the risk that an accidental exposure to small amounts of peanut will set off a life-threatening reaction.”
Now, Palforzia has made the leap beyond “promising drug in test situations” to something we might be seeing a lot more of. The Wall Street Journal reports that the FDA has approved it — offering a way for kids to build up their resistance to peanuts. From what the article describes, it sounds less like a one-time treatment and more of a constant process:
To build up their resistance, children ages 4 to 17 years who are prescribed the new therapy start with escalating doses of Palforzia mixed with apple sauce or other food each day, and after reaching a certain dose continue on that dose indefinitely.
Palforzia doesn’t sound cheap. In the Wall Street Journal article, writer Peter Loftus cites the list price for the drug as “$890 a month, or about $10,680 a year.” The fact that this is not a small number may well prompt a debate over who will actually have access to the drug going forward. But it’s also a bold step forward in treating something that has been a source of alarm for many.
Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.
Suggested for you